Monday, March 19, 2007

Cooking Biryani

A web-surfer reached my blog searching on "Cooking Biryani".

I felt bad that s/he could not find what s/he wanted, especially when s/he had actually reached the right place! For the last few years, through the Howrah Pilot Project (with which I am associated) women in Howrah have been making spices for Biryani and other delectable preparations, which are exported all over the world. Each packet of Biryani masala carries the recipe and cooking instructions. And that text - written in early 2000 - is still in my computer.

So, with apologies and thanks to the dear Biryani recipe searcher, I am reproducing that here. And yes, this is a promotional for our Biryani and other spices.

Ingredients (to serve 5-6 persons)

Meat: 1 kg; Curds / yogurt: 200 gms; Rice (long-grained): 1 kg; Cooking oil: 5 tablespoons; Potatoes: 750 gms; Saffron: 2 pinches; Onion: 1 large; Milk: 1 cup; Ginger paste: 2 tablespoons; Rose water: half cup; Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon; Salt: to taste; Ghee (clarified butter): 100 gms; Bay leaves (tej patta): 2-3 pieces; Red chilli powder: to taste; Chopped pistachios and raisins: 2 tablespoons; Eggs: 2 (boiled); HPP BIRYANI MASALA: 1 packet.

Cut meat into 1 inch cubes.

Fry the boiled eggs (whole) lightly in oil.

Slice the onion into long strips and fry in oil until golden in colour.

Add the meat to the fried onions and then the ginger and garlic paste, add red chilli powder and salt to taste, and put to cook. Cook until the meat is fully done. Note that the meat should not be completely dry but should retain some gravy.

Add the curds / yogurt to the cooked meat, and set aside.

Cut the potatoes in large pieces, add 1 pinch saffron and fry in oil until slightly crisp. Then add half a cup of water and let it cook until the water is dry and the potatoes are well done.

Clean the rice, wash and soak in water for 10 minutes.

Take water in a cooking pot and heat. When it begins to boil, add the rice, salt to taste, and 2-3 bay leaves. Check the rice from time to time.

When the rice is about three-fourths done, drain out the water.

Add all of the BIRYANI MASALA to the cooked meat and mix.

Take a cooking pot and place some meat and potatoes at the bottom. Add a layer of rice. Place another layer of meat and potatoes over the rice. Set in layers like this.

Dissolve 1 pinch of saffron in the rose water and pour on top.

Add the ghee to the milk and pour over the meat-rice.

Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and raisins on top.

Cover the cooking pot thoroughly so that no steam can escape, and cook over a slow fire for 10-15 minutes.

Mix well before serving.

Garnish the serving with slices of the slightly fried boiled eggs.

Biryani is best eaten with raita and green salad. Raita masala is prepared by lightly roasting and then grinding cumin (jeera), dry red chilli and black pepper seeds.

Since biryani is very rich, eating this with a specially prepared ghol(drink) aids digestion. To make the special ghol, grind into a paste green chilli, mint leaves (pudina), black salt and salt. Lightly roast black pepper and cumin (jeera) and grind into a dry powder. Add the paste and powder to the curds / yogurt. Add water to dilute.

1 comment:

Freshma said...

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